Print

To view larger PDF version - click here

teen suicide prevention week

CAPE TIMES FOUNDED IN 1876 Teen suicide prevention week SUICIDE week, like many other.commemorative days and weeks,.comes and goes every year but for those battling depression and those who have lost loved ones to suicide this is one of the most sensitive of weeks, a period where emotional pain resurfaces. Last week the country observed Teen Suicide Prevention Week and the main focus of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) this year is to train teachers on how to identify teens at risk. This is a welcome approach since children spend most of their time at school, away from their parents. However, parents and extended family members should not be absolved from the responsibility of keeping an eye on their children, as well as children in their families and.communities. Suicide accounts for 9.5% of all unnatural teen deaths in SA and with the National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey having revealed that 17.6% of teenagers had considered attempting suicide, while 13.5% of teen suicide attempts required medical treatment, we all need to keep our eyes peeled and ears opened when around teenagers. We all need to look out for warning signs. These are our future leaders so let's take their issues seriously instead of simply ignoring them and saying they will outgrow their issues. Suicide is real and it can be sparked by something as small as a social media post. Let this not be just another.commemorative week that we simply tick off our calenders and move on to other things. Let's be vigilant and spot the signs, let's be empathetic to those suffering from depression instead of simply dismissing them as attention seekers, and lastly, let's be supportive of families of those who have lost loved ones to suicide instead of judging them and labelling them bad parents for not having taken their children's suicidal messages seriously. Sadag contacts: For counselling queries email: zanel@medport. co.za To contact a counsellor between 8am8pm Monday to Sunday, Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182 For a suicidal Emergency call 0800 567 567 24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14 SMS 31393 (and we will call you back)